I remain amazed that there are still financial advisers who say they do not see the point of social media when it comes to their business. Most of those advisers also keep saying that they could do with more prospects and customers. Is there any chance that these two concepts might be linked?
Let’s be clear: Prospecting is about basically about overcoming 3 challenges:
- Finding your target market prospects
- Being noticed (or getting attention if you prefer)
- Holding that attention
What system could be better than one where the prospects choose to engage and stay engaged of their own accord? That’s the power of social media for business.
Finding those people – your “audience” – to begin with so that you can get on their radar screen is also less challenging with social media than virtually any other marketing channel.
Let’s say you want to target some business owners, or the CEO’s of certain types of business as an example. There is a pretty good chance these days that those people are using social media in some manner to promote themselves or their businesses. So they are out there in social media land in some capacity usually. It is almost certain that they are on LinkedIn. They probably have a Twitter account. Maybe a blog as well. Quite possibly a YouTube channel….You get the point: there is an example group of great prospects who are using social media in some capacity to promote their own venture or reputation. So finding them is easy. Even if that was a much wider group of generic consumers, such as people interested in buying their first home, they have a tendency to congregate around information sources which are freely available…and that is “online” via social channels. So finding them is easy.
How to get the attention of these ideal prospects is the next challenge then.
Here’s a home truth: Unless your ideal prospect is the unusual character like Seth Godin who seems to basically follow nobody else, these ideal prospects will be watching who is following them, or engaging with them and their brand, and who is sharing their content and helping spread their brand message. Or, if it the more generic type of consumers they gather around ideas and information sources that resonate with their needs.
There is the cue for getting noticed by your ideal prospect!
If they are active users of social channels, then engage and interact with them. Simple actions can, and do, lead to them noticing you and then engaging with you, and ultimately being willing to take that engagement offline and into the real world. But it starts with simple actions, such as:
Follow them on Twitter, or follow them on LinkedIn.
Pay attention to when they post their content, and share it amongst your networks.
Make comments on their blogs and content.
Ask them questions which highlight their expertise or give them an opportunity to showcase their value proposition, on Twitter, or LinkedIn groups, or their blog or YouTube channel
Subscribe to their blog feeds or YouTube channels, or join LinkedIn groups
Note that none of those things were “move into selling mode” with those prospects. It is about engaging with them. Inclusion, not intrusion, is the objective here.
If they are of the more generic variety where they congregate virtually around themes and information sources because THEY are looking, then it is even more simple:
- Use social channels to be the voice of authority on the topic they are seeking information on.
- Be available and actively interact. Help them in other words…showcase your expertise.
These are all simple and painless things to do, but they are all easy actions that will bring you to the attention (in a positive way) of the people you want to have as clients.
Do all of them and you are definitely getting noticed and building goodwill. There is no doubt that social media can solve prospecting problems for financial advisers….if only they used it.